Do you cringe every time you see one of your well-meaning coworkers toss a recyclable container into the trash? Do the intricacies of our nation's recycling system leave you agitated? Or maybe you generally have recycling on the brain. If any of those resonate with you, Eco-Ambassador may be the role for you! Continue reading for our tips on implementing a successful Eco-Ambassador program at your business!
How To Become an Eco-Ambassador
Did you know businesses with Eco-Ambassadors are 99% more sustainable and 94% happier than those without Eco-Ambassadors?
Okay, so maybe we made that one up... While the results of an Eco-Ambassador program are not universally quantifiable, the qualitative benefits - including financial savings, office-wide employee engagement & professional development opportunities, not to mention massive diversion increases - are not to be underestimated. Follow the steps below for tips on getting started.
Step 1: Nominate your Ambassadors
Every successful program begins with an enthusiastic green champion! As a volunteer position, your ambassador(s) should be naturally driven to make organizational change. It's a wonderful learning experience, both on an industry and a professional development level, as he or she will gain critical management, motivational and behavioral change skills.
Step 2: Design a Disposal Plan
Based on the type of materials your business generates, your Eco-Ambassadors can begin to determine what kind of trash and recycling containers will accommodate daily accumulation, and where to place them for maximum recovery. Do employees typically throw out a lot of paper in the copy room? Consider setting up a mixed-paper container over there. Where do staff find it most convenient to toss their plastics? Make sure that you keep simple behaviors and traffic flows in mind so that the program naturally works for the end-users.
Step 3: Communicate with Your Haulers
Make sure to communicate all of your in-office waste and recycling efforts to your hauler. Conveying any receptacle, bin, liner, or stream changes ensures your program continues to run smoothly. Your hauler can also iterate acceptable materials in your community, where to stage containers, the frequency of weekly pick-ups, and much more. Maintaining a strong relationship with your hauler will make a massive difference in the long run!
Step 4: Share the Green Wave Enthusiasm!
By making small changes in the workplace, you’ll be spreading awareness and building habits that translate beyond the workplace. Scheduling regular informational events and activities can help get your coworkers involved and excited about making responsible changes. You'd be surprised what taking an hour to pot plants around the office will do to boost the energy in your workplace! There’s no limit to what you can create once you get people motivated.
Step 5: Recommend Reusables
Going "reusable" is a great way to cut down on waste! Your ambassador team can get started by going to the nearest thrift store and picking up cutlery, mugs, glasses, and dishes. Your coworkers will be more likely to pack their own food when they have access to these basics, which cuts down on the need for single-use packaging. Bonus: It may even cut down your waste bill costs!
Step 6: HOST A RECYCLING AWARENESS DAY
Hosting a recycling awareness day will motivate your colleagues to recycle more efficiently and reinforce the expectations of your business' recycling program. Hosting an event on America Recycles Day and Earth Day is a great way to recognize and promote recycling through events and educational activities. Or simply gather your team for an afternoon of cleaning up a local park or neighborhood. There are countless local opportunities to pitch in and help make a difference!
Are you excited to go off and get your program started right away? Let us know how it goes in the comment section below by sharing any tips or personal experiences – a green tip is worth a lot in our community. If your business needs help managing its waste, schedule a free consultation with us today. Happy recycling from our business to yours!